Home   Kent   News   Article

Hundreds of doctors needed for GP practices in Kent

Around 250 doctors are needed for general practices in Kent, according to an NHS estimate.

County councillors claim doctors are being put off from becoming GPs following a move to working evenings and weekends.

Liberal democrats believe doctors from overseas who were filling in the gaps "no longer feel welcome".

Hundreds more GPs are needed in Kent
Hundreds more GPs are needed in Kent

While the director of public health at Kent County Council says the upcoming medical school in Canterbury will help recruit general practitioners.

Cllr Dan Daley (Lib Dem), who represents Maidstone, raised his concerns following the closure announcement of two surgeries in Allington.

Both Allington Park and Allington Clinic are set to close at the end of the month as one GP is set to retire while the other has quit, leaving around 4,600 patients potentially without a doctor.

At the public health cabinet committee meeting today Cllr Daley said: "In my own borough and ward, it has become apparent that primary care is in many ways creaking.

"In some instances possibly failing.

"In Maidstone there are two surgeries closing due to individuals, one retiring and another resigning, leaving 4,600 patients being bereft.

"This is because the level of practices are not able/willing to pick them up because they are already full themselves."

Cllr Dan Daley
Cllr Dan Daley

Cllr Daley said these professionals are essential as they are the "first port of call" to residents in a health crisis.

However he added the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) will struggle to recruit doctors "unless the pressure is lessened".

He said: "General practice is not attractive to the people becoming doctors in any field if they are going to be told they have to work 24/7.

"If something is not done about it now it will get a lot worse.

"Getting doctors from overseas has been a stock gap but that's now being switched off because people are no longer welcome here."

"In my own borough and ward, it has become apparent that primary care is in many ways creaking - in some instances possibly failing" Cllr Dan Daley

Cabinet member for public health, Peter Oakford echoed his concerns but confirmed the STP have a work group in place to tackle this problem.

Chair of the group Geoff Lymer added there is a need for a balance when it comes to recruiting "foreign doctors" so their home country does not lose its talent so training in the UK is essential.

Yet Cllr Rob Bird (Lib Dem) raised concerns about training in Kent as there has been no nurse apprenticeships in the county.

While director for public health at KCC, Andrew Scott-Clark said the Kent and Medway medical school is "good news on the horizon" as research shows students at medical schools often to stay where they train.

He added: "The code for primary care is local care.

"We all recognise the absolute foundation of getting health care services right - is good local care.

"If we can't get that right, then we are challenged."

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More